Sanat Rao, Chief Business Officer & Global Head at Infosys Finacle predicts that the digital transformation of banks will pick up speed in the year to come.

A new definition of banking has made its way into financial services. Banks, large and small, are looking beyond traditional ways of doing business. In 2020 banks will not only accelerate their truly digital transformation but also scale it multi-dimensionally.

Amid growing pressures of competition and declining profitability, banks will be quick to formalize their strategy, and move away from the universal banking model. Apart from the strategic choice of operating as a manufacturing bank, an aggregator, a distributor, a segment player, or a combination of these approaches, banks will juggle variables of size, cost efficiency, experience, segmentation, and personalisation for the most optimal blend of scale and value.

The pursuit of agility that is at par with BigTechs and FinTechs will see banks adopting Agile-at-Scale, an approach championed by the likes of ING Group in banking. Its full import will span product development, processes, operations, and even communication.

2019 saw a rapid uptake of RPA and automation across the enterprise but few banks can claim to have achieved the benefits of agile automation as some leading banks like Turkey’s Akbank have.

Robots and humans working together

The bank’s co-bots work hand-in-glove with the human workforce completing a triggered task without human intervention or triggering a process themselves. Achieving savings of around 513 hours per day, the bank’s employees now have more time to focus on value-added services and customer interactions. More and more banks will integrate RPA with strategic workforce management, operations and customer experience processes in 2020 and beyond.

Next, making every employee digitally proficient will be a primary charter of workforce and culture transformation for all banks. Banks will continue to support their employees with suitable learning programs in flexible on-the-go formats, deploy experts to co-create experiences with bank staff, and pull out all stops to empower their employees to succeed in their roles during and after digital transformation.

As the somewhat conflicting demands of contextual value and increased protection of data increase, banks will increase their investment in cybersecurity in the 2020. Part of this investment will also be dedicated to educating employees and customers.

The last decade was about preparing for a digital future. Now, the future is here. In 2020 banks will ramp up their business model, technology, automation, security and workforce modernisation efforts significantly, and ready themselves to reap the benefits in the new decade.